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Cajun Folk Songs, Part One

From Wind Repertory Project
Frank Ticheli

Frank Ticheli

General Info

Year: 1990
Duration: c. 6:15
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Manhattan Beach Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $135.00   |   Score Only - $16.50


1. La Belle et la Capitaine- 2:52
2. Belle - 3:02


Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Eb Alto Clarinet
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Contra-Alto Clarinet
Bb Contrabass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone I-II
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Trumpet (in Bb) I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Castanets
  • Cymbal (suspended)
  • Marimba
  • Sand Blocks
  • Tambourine
  • Tom-Toms (4)
  • Triangle
  • Xylophone


See Kish book in Additional References (below) for errata list.

Program Notes

Cajuns are descendants of the Acadians, a group of early French colonists who began settling in Acadia (now Nova Scotia) around 1604. In 1755 they were driven out by the British, eventually resettling in south Louisiana. Today there are nearly a million French-speaking descendants of the Acadians living in Louisiana and parts of Texas, preserving many of the customs, traditions, stories, and songs of their ancestors.

Although a rich Cajun folk song tradition exists, the music has become increasingly commercialized and Americanized throughout the twentieth century, obscuring its original simplicity and directness. In response to this trend, Alan and John Lomax traveled to south Louisiana in 1934 to collect and record numerous Cajun folk songs in the field for the Archive of Folk Music in the Library of Congress. By doing so, they helped to preserve Cajun music in its original form as a pure and powerful expression of Louisiana French Society.

La Belle et le Capitaine and Belle can both be heard in their original versions on the Lomax recordings (Swallow LP-8003-2, Swallow Records Co., Ville Platte, Louisiana). La Belle et le Capitaine tells the story of a young girl who feigns death to avoid being seduced by a captain. Its Dorian melody is remarkably free, shifting back and forth between duple and triple meters. In this arrangement the melody is stated three times. The third time an original countermelody is added in flutes, oboe, clarinet, and trumpet.

Belle is about a man who goes away to Texas only to receive word of his sweetheart's illness, forcing him to return to Louisiana. Finding her unconscious upon his return, he pawns his horse to try to save her, to no avail. The folk melody is sometimes varied rhythmically, texturally, and coloristically, and an original melody (see mm. 12-21) is added for variety.

Cajun Folk Songs is composed as a tribute to the people of the old Cajun folk song culture with hopes that their contributions will not be forgotten. The work is dedicated to the Murchison Middle School Band, Austin, Texas, Cheryl Floyd, director, who commissioned the work and gave its premiere on May 22, 1990.

- Program Note by Frank Ticheli

Commercial Discography

Audio Links

State Ratings

  • Florida: IV
  • Minnesota: II


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Baylor University (Waco, Texas) Concert Band (Nathan Taylor, conductor) – 5 May 2019
  • Sam Houston State University (Huntsville, Tx.) Symphonic Band (Melodie Brown, conductor) – 13 April 2019
  • The Ohio State University (Columbus) University Band (Brent Levine, conductor) – 28 February 2019
  • Wheaton (Ill.) North High School Concert Band (Kent Krause, conductor) - 26 February 2019
  • Penn State University (University Park) Concert Band (Herbert Payung, conductor) – 4 December 2018
  • South Central High School Symphonic Band (David Christianson, conductor) – 26 November 2018
  • Berea (Ky.) College Wind Ensemble (James A Dreiling, conductor) – 23 October 2018
  • Ithaca (N.Y.) College Campus Band (Benjamin Rochford, conductor) – 11 October 2018
  • Austin (Texas) Symphonic Band (Cheryl Floyd, conductor) - 27 July 2018 (Texas Bandmasters Association Convention, San Antonio)
  • Racine (Wisc.) Concert Band (Mark Eichner, conductor) - 1 July 2018
  • Le Mars (Iowa) Municipal Band (Jerry Bertrand, conductor) - 27 June 2018
  • Racine (Wisc.) Concert Band (March Eichner, conductor) - 22 May 2018
  • Union High School (La Porte City, Iowa) Concert Band (Mike Bistline, conductor)- 1 May 2018
  • University of Cape Town (Rondebosch, South Africa) (Alexander Fokkens, conductor) - 24 April 2018
  • University of Louisville Concert Band (Jason Cumberledge, conductor) - 20 February 2018
  • Atlantic Pops (Atlantic City, N.J.) (Mark Kadetsky, conductor) – 8 December 2017
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) North Star Band Campus Band (J. Nick Smith, conductor) – 4 December 2017
  • West Virginia University Symphonic Band (Lindsey Williams, conductor) - 30 November 2017
  • Illinois State University (Normal) University Band (MaryKatherine Kuhne, conductor) – 30 November 2017

Works for Winds by this Composer